Ah, Easter. Two weeks off school. Paying five times as much for an Easter egg as you would do for an equivalent chocolate bar. And something about some ancient bloke, a crown of thorns and a wooden cross.
Here are my fellow dads’ perspectives on Easter, including what they’ve been up to over the Easter period and their thoughts on this most chocolate-y of holidays.
Chocolate, chocolate everywhere
Is Easter a curse or a blessing? It’s certainly a challenge to those of us trying to instil healthy eating habits into our children.
This year we missed out on the usual festivities as we whisked the kids away to Disney World in Florida. Easter came and went in a blur of seven-foot costumed characters and rollercoaster rides, with a token Easter egg hunt around our holiday villa the only real concession to the event. It meant we missed the worst of the chocolate glutton-fest.
It’s funny, isn’t it? For 360-odd days of the year we preach a message of healthy eating and treats in moderation. And then we have Easter and Halloween, where all bets are off and dentists all across the land brace themselves for its aftermath.
Jamie from Daddy & Dad sums up the challenge that faces most parents at Easter time.
Our biggest issue is the number of chocolate eggs our boys are given at Easter – at least ten each! We still have Easter eggs in the cupboard left over from last year. If the rollover continues we’ll end up with hundreds!
Hmm, that sounds familiar. Our kids haven’t finished their Halloween sweet stash either.
Nonetheless, dads do form a united front when it comes to managing the excesses of the season.
Jon from This Dad Can echoes the majority when he says:
Food ‘treats’ are often unhealthy. In our house we’re discussing what healthy foods can be labelled treats.
Lewis (Dad Who Blogs) sees Easter as an extension of the habits we try to encourage in our kids during the rest of the year.
Regardless of Easter, treats are fine in moderation. We won’t let our kids gorge on eggs; they will eat them bit by bit.
And John from Dad Blog UK points out:
Chocolate is the lesser of many evils [compared to some other sweets]. It can get a bit excessive but you just need to keep these things in check.
With a little creativity, it’s possible to incorporate Easter-themed activities without piling on the chocolate. I particularly like what Stephen (NomadiDaddy) did. He took his son on a chocolate-free Easter egg hunt with a difference. A day out at Knebworth House included a hunt for a dinosaur egg. But what did they find inside? You’ll have to watch the video to find out.
The Easter holidays offer opportunities to go away and do big, exciting things. If you’re the glamping type, Jamie (Daddy & Dad) tried out the Stargazing Pods at Alton Towers. These look like great fun – an opportunity to give the kids a comfortable camping experience and introduce them to the delights of looking at the bright lights in the sky rather than the more familiar blue-light glare of a screen.
Of course, Easter fun doesn’t have to be Easter-themed or require a massive outlay. Anything that stimulates a child’s curiosity or imagination (or just keeps them occupied for a couple of hours) is just as valuable.
Simon from The Daddy Voyage took his nature-loving one-year-old son Zak to butterfly World in Stockton-on-Tees, which he covers in Visiting Butterfly World with a Baby. This had the added benefit of being housed in a tropical greenhouse – ideal for those days when it’s more wintry than summery out.
For days better suited to a wander around the great outdoors, Phill (Four Seasons Dad) highlights Fairy Glen near Wigan as a free day out. Take a stroll through the woodlands and, you never know, maybe you will spot a fairy too.
A time for reflection
Easter is a time for reflection too. More time to spend with the family and a chance to break away from everyday life for a few days.
For Nigel (DIY Daddy), being able to spend extended time with his family was a reminder of his priorities. Being present rather than just being there involved putting down his phone. Enjoying a busy four-day weekend rather than just recording it for Instagram or the blog.
I had a similar experience while we were away at Disney, prompted by giving our eldest son his first mobile phone. Repeatedly, I had to remind him to look up and not down, where he was busily creating Instagram Stories. But that required me to role-model better behaviour too. I don’t have to read my phone every time it buzzes with a new notification. And I don’t need to constantly flit between Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, posting witty captions and joining in with every conversation that’s happening back home.
Finally, Tom from Diary of the Dad describes the eggs-isnetial crisis of a nearly nine-year-old questioning the existence of the Easter bunny. Good luck with that one, Tom!